One reason why religion is not given any logical weight is that its members forsake what is seen for what is unseen. This is evident in their scripture "..walk by faith and not by sight.." Evolution is an example of what is seen through time and is a very gradual process. christianity can be considered a condensed version of evolution; 2,000 years condensed, in fact. This is because it has seen trials and tribulation, periods of apostacy (extinction), all pointing the way to millions of years of gradual adjustment. "Even so, Lord, come quickly.." With this scripture, I guess you could say that their god is evolution. I, however, like to think of evolution as improving the human. Religion has destroyed in the name of their different dieties through the years, proving that gradual, time-tested, and lengthy forms of physical labor can be brought down relatively instantly over the course of time. Can people NOW see that September 11th had a definite religious agenda attached among the various and logically-correct political conspiracy theories? I once heard a missionary say that when he saw the witch doctors of the tribe he was attempting to convert start floating in the air, he waited, waited for them to float just high enough for safety, then screamed, "In the name of jesus, come down!" and they all fell down. Then, since they had no gradual way of explaining an immediate thing, they all converted. I can t find the biblical verse that relates their satan as "..lifting [someone] up just enough to bring [them] down.." I ve heard a paraphrasing in a popular Tool song, "Sober". http://www.keyway.ca/htm2003/20030418.htm This website actually tells the christian how to bring down a superpower.. http://www.reviveourhearts.com/page_print.php?link=/radio/roh/today.php?pid=9685 "Here’s the principle all through God’s Word: You lift yourself up; God will bring you down." -Nancy Leigh DeMoss Why do I, an atheist and agnostic, consider this logically accurate? As humans, we have emotion. Pride is an emotion; one that I think should be more evident in people (pride in self). If you should stretch your arms out over the course of millions of years, step out of the original gene pool, and begin your journey on land, you should be proud. There s no logical physical proof to point to pride. The bible speaks opposite of pride in "..the book of Jeremiah: “The proud one shall stumble and fall, with none to raise him up” (50:32)" Question here: does christianity consider pride to be sinful because it s lacking of physical proof ? ~~~~~~~~ I want to point out some additional things, in reference to my factual missionary comment, that christianity goes into various low-technology places and cleans them of culture. They call it sin. Consider this even though it isn t factual-based but hearsay: do you think that EVERY tribe that christians go to for missionary conversion are willing to accept outsiders into their living zones? They, like the bad non-naturalists that they are, might attempt to solicit them to convince them to do so. They would have to do this with physical items, like money, for example. They study their culture , find out what things they use as currency, gather it (if that s possible) and use it for a bribe. NO naturalist would do that with that intention; they would keep themselves away, offer currency as a means of showing signs of non-hostility, and would never expect anything in return. The christian missionary has something they require of them: salvation. Should a tribe see the currency (whether it be coin or otherwise) and take to it cautiously, like good skeptics , the missionaries might have gradually triggered a sin within them: greed. In relating life as sex now (this becomes rather provoking), because missionaries are so horny to spread their word, they would let go of some honorable humanistic traits like respect of person. They would, in an attempt to get to the point of no return as soon as possible so they can move on, inculcate them with greed to keep them interested in their subject, verbally convince them to convert, then once they have achieved the climax of their story, they might stick around a bit to help them "get some of their own", and gradually go away. The result is, the newly-infected culture, if strong in continuing their newfound belief, will lose ALL culture if something isn t done to help protect it. Naturalists that go around to these tribes WILL NEVER speak of their true intent because they, like good agnostics, cater to the needs of the many: re-converting them to their natural habitat. And they get a sense of pride in it, too. ~~~~~~~~ Have you ever heard the phrase, "..frog in a frying pan.."? Scientifically, turn up the heat and froggy jumps out. But turn it up gradually and you have a new snack: HOT FROGS! For your question, let me point out that it is christianity only that forces people to make a decision. It happens: 1. as outsiders when people first hear of them 2. as outsiders when they are converted 3. as converts: every day of their lives http://www.gotquestions.org/take-up-your-cross.html This pastor felt the need to inform the subsequent viewers of his page that christians don t actually have to pick up a cross. So far, i ve only seen it in musicals.. http://christiantherapist.com/jesus/readonline/jesus208.htm "If any of you wants to follow me, you must first deny yourself.." Also, didn t the Pope (Joseph Ratzinger) ask for forgiveness for either aiding or turning the other cheek to jews being tortured in the holocaust, or was that the previous one? As of late, my observations are that the actions of the R.C. church have been those of cautious and "gradual" maneuvering. A debater, knowledgeable in both religion and evolution, could say "This appears to be a moral moving toward the very "physical" process of evolution." Despite whatever was said, the fact is that something in this category relating to christians and jews was either DONE or NOT DONE. Those two words are all that matter to the atheist. Now as far as torturing pagans go, I have no knowledge of that.